Art in the Contemporary World work with the RHA for Learning and Public Engagement, Futures Series 3, Episode 2 with Dublin Youth Dance Company
Working closely with the RHA, Katy Fitzpatrick and Róisín Bohan for the Public Engagement and Learning program for the current Futures exhibition, ACW students, Brendan Fox, Natalie Pullen and Éimear Regan developed You, Me and Everything In Between. A theatrical workshop loosely based around Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed, where participants were encouraged to manifest a performative narrative connecting the exhibition content. The artists featuring in Futures Series 3, Episode 2 exhibition are Bassam Al-Sabah, Cecilia Danell, Laura Fitzgerald, Jennifer Mehigan, Joanne Reid and Marcel Vidal. The work on display by each artist in Futures is unconnected and seemingly disparate as the exhibition is a display of their own personal practice rather than a group show that relates to a specific theme or greater narrative. The challenge set forth in the workshop was to develop a constellation between the artists’ work on display, with an outcome of producing and creating a wholly separate piece of performance art. The artists in the Futures exhibition also contributed to the workshop by donating personal objects for a further insight into their world. Among the objects donated were a paint pot cast from layers upon layers of paint, a silver mask and a metal rod. Members of the Dublin Youth Dance Company directed by Mariam Ribon, were invited to participate in the 3-hour-long workshop which took place on Saturday 15 December. The first half of the workshop began with the 11 participants viewing and taking in the work, followed by a meditation and then contained a series of exercises influenced by Boal’s practice where there was a discussion and consequently where the generation of ideas for a narrative emerged. During the second half of the workshop the DYDC participants were divided into three groups and were instructed to develop their narrative of the exhibition through three “moments” that established a final performance. Materials were provided by the facilitators Fox, Pullen and Regan to aid the development and theatricality of the narrative, encouraging the participants to engage in producing a fully embodied piece of art. The dancers infused themselves into the workshop and the outcome was outstanding. Each group performed their finished piece within the space with the artworks as a backdrop. The dancers’ commitment to the workshop was phenomenal and the creative energy generated in the space was quite special.
Éimear Regan, MA Art in the Contemporary World
All photographs by Brendan Fox